Healthy comfort food
With school starting up again the time to say goodbye to close friends has arrived. College is wonderful, but right now leaves us all feeling a little lonely. I raided our fridge for anything that tickled my fancy, as my grandpa would say, and with that was off!
YUM: Chicken and Vegetable Comfort bake: Serves 4 – 2 large zucchini – 1 head cauliflower – 1 pint cherry tomatoes – 1 medium yellow onion – 2 cups sliced mushrooms – 4 chicken breasts – 4 oz cheddar cheese – 4 oz mozzarella cheese – 2 oz Parmesan cheese – 1 pint tomato sauce – olive oil – 1 cup chicken broth Directions: 1. Cut zucchini and cauliflower in small chunks and cut cherry tomatoes in half. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes stirring half way through. While vegetables are roasting, heat 1 tbls. of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Once hot reduce heat to low and add thinly sliced onions. In the same skillet as you cooked the onions, add 2 tbls. of olive oil and heat at medium high heat. Once hot, add the cubed chicken breasts and cook until cooked through and browned on all sides. In the same pan as you cooked the onions and chicken place 1 tbls. of olive oil and place sliced mushrooms and the chopped bell peppers. Toss in oil and cook for about 1-2 minutes then add a little bit of chicken broth to deglaze the pan, I used about 1 cup. Turn off heat and add browned chicken and roasted veggies to the pan with the bell pepper and mushrooms. Place 1 of veggie and chicken mixture on bottom of 9 x 13 inch greased baking dish, next top with a 1 of your favorite tomato sauce used a tomato basil from a local Kenwood Italian cafe called Cafe Citti and then top with cheddar cheese. Continue this layering process, but the second layer put the mozzarella cheese and on the top place the Parmesan and caramelized onions. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and top is golden. Diet One cup of zucchini has 36 calories and 10 of the RDA of dietary which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar and curbs overeating. Lower Cholesterol The dietary in zucchini helps lower cholesterol by attaching itself to bile acids that the liver makes from cholesterol for digesting fat. Cancer Prevention The high amounts of in zucchini help prevent carcinogenic toxins from settling in the colon. Moreover, the vitamins C and A, as well as folate, found in zucchini act as powerful antioxidants that oxidative stress that can lead to many different types of cancer. Prostate Health Studies show that the phytonutrients in zucchini aid in reducing the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges and leads to complications with urination and sexual functions in men. Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention A one cup serving of zucchini contains over 10 of the RDA of magnesium, a mineral proven to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke Lower Blood Pressure Along with magnesium, the potassium found in zucchini helps lower blood pressure. High in Manganese A trace mineral and essential nutrient, manganese provides many health bene and contributes to a slew of normal physiological functions. One cup of zucchini contains 19 of the RDA of manganese, which helps the body metabolize protein and carbohydrates, participates in the production of sex hormones, and catalyzes the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol.